Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner – Red Band
Cynthia Johnston Turner is Director of Bands, Professor of Music, and Artistic Director of Rote Hund Muzik at the Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia. Turner conducts the Hodgson Wind Ensemble, leads the MM and DMA programs in conducting, and oversees the entire band program including the 430-member Redcoat Marching Band. She is “VIP Educational Clinician” with Conn-Selmer.
Before her appointment at the Hodgson School at the University of Georgia, Cynthia was Director of Wind Ensembles at Cornell University. Earlier in her career, Cynthia was a high school music educator, taught middle school beginning instrumental music in Toronto and choral music in Switzerland.
A Canadian, Cynthia completed her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees at Queens University and her Master of Music in music education and conducting at the University of Victoria. Touring with her ensembles inspired her master’s thesis on the musical and personal transformations that occur on tours, and her D.M.A. thesis at the Eastman School of Music centered on the music of William Kraft, one of this generation’s leading composers. At Eastman, Cynthia was the recipient of the prestigious teaching award in conducting. She received the National Leadership in Education Award (Canada), the Excellence in Education Award (Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation), and the Marion Drysdale Leadership Award (also from OSSTF). She is also the recipient of the Donald A. Reick Memorial Award for research with wearable technologies and music pedagogy, and the American Prize for innovative programming with wind bands.
Cynthia has commissioned numerous new works for wind band, contemporary music ensembles, and orchestra, and she continues to actively promote commissions by today’s leading and emerging composers around the world. Under her direction, the Cornell Wind Ensemble was invited to perform at the College Band Directors National Association’s Eastern Division Conference in 2007 and 2012, and the Hodgson Wind Ensemble performed at CBDNA National in Kansas City in 2017. In 2008, the Merrill Presidential Scholars at Cornell recognized Cynthia as an outstanding educator, and in 2009, she was awarded the Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship. Her performances have been praised by such composers as Steven Stucky, William Kraft, Steven Bryant, Marc Mellits, Nancy Galbraith, Peter Lane, Eddie Mora Bermudez, Dana Wilson, Roberto Sierra, and Karel Husa.
Dr. Catherine Rand – White Band
Catherine Rand comes to Southern Miss from her position as Director of Bands and Area Coordinator of Winds and Percussion at Florida International University, where she conducted the Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, and taught wind literature and graduate conducting.
A native Floridian, Rand received her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Tampa, Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of South Florida, and Doctor of Musical Arts in wind conducting from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. Prior to her collegiate teaching career, Dr. Rand taught band and orchestra for 14 years in the Florida public school system.
Active in scholarly and creative endeavors, Dr. Rand has presented numerous workshops to music educators on festival preparation, FCAT Testing and rehearsal techniques. She recently presented her research “Balancing Artistry and Education” in Austria, and conducted the Minnesota All-State Band, and the Florida All-State Honor Band. Dr. Rand has been a member of the Creative Music Project, held for the past two years in the Cayman Islands, promoting student-based musical creativity by providing improvisation and composition activities accompanied by technology-based, multi-disciplinary methodology. She and the FIU Marching Band were invited to the Bahamas to perform in their independence celebration. She is published in volume 5 of “A Composer’s Insight: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band.”
Dr. Rand maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and guest lecturer throughout the United States and abroad. Her professional affiliations include the College Band Director’s National Association, College Music Society, Women Band Director’s Association and the Music Educators National Conference.
Dr. Dennis Llinás – Blue Band
Dr. Dennis Llinás is the Associate Director of Bands at Louisiana State University. His responsibilities include conducting the LSU Symphonic Winds, teaching undergraduate conducting, directing the LSU Bengal Brass Basketball Band, and assisting with the LSU Tiger Marching Band. From 2003 to 2007, Llinás was director of bands at Miami Coral Park Senior High School where he conducted the concert ensembles, directed the jazz program, marching band, and the percussion ensemble. From 2007 to 2008, he was the assistant director at W. Charles Akins High School in Austin, TX. His responsibilities included directing the percussion ensemble, providing private lessons to the percussion studio, conductor of the Concert Band, assistant conductor of the Wind Ensemble, and director of the Jazz Band.
In the world of marching arts, Llinás is an active arranger/composer/show designer producing competitive marching band and indoor percussion shows for over 50 programs across the nation. Several of his works have been published by Center X Productions and performances of his works could be heard throughout the country including Oklahoma State University, Winthrop University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Several special projects have been commissioned of him by Estefan Enterprises in Miami, FL for the Miami Dolphins and the Florida Marlins, as well as the 2007 Orange Bowl Halftime Production with special guest star from American Idol Taylor Hicks.
As a composer, Llinás has been commissioned to compose works for musicians from across the country. Recently, two works have been recorded by Mark Hetzler, trombone professor at The University of Wisconsin, on Summit Records on two separate albums in 2012. His compositions and arrangements have also been performed by The University of Texas Wind Ensemble, The University of Texas Men’s and Women’s Chorus, the Dallas Wind Symphony, as well as performances by solo artists from The University of Texas, Furman University, and Huston-Tillotson University.
Llinás is an active clinician and guest conductor in the United States. In 2012, he appeared as a guest conductor with the West Point Band conducting music by Michael Daugherty. He maintains memberships in the Conductors Guild, the College Band Directors National Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, the Golden Key National Honors Society, and the Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society. His recording credits include projects with The University of Texas at Austin, Summit Records, and Florida International University.
Dr. Llinás received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Florida International University and both a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin. His primary conducting professors were Roby George and Jerry Junkin.
Dr. Elizabeth Jackson Kirchhoff – Middle Schoool Band
Dr. Elizabeth Jackson Kirchhoff has been active as an instrumental music educator, conductor, and clinician in the United States, Norway, and Canada for over thirty years. She has enjoyed collaborating with music makers from the elementary level to the university level. She completed a B.A. in Music Education at St. Olaf College, a M.M. in Conducting at Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. in Music Education at The Ohio State University. Jackson has been teaching at Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, since 1998 where she conducts the Wind Ensemble, the Concert Band, the Pit Orchestra, and is founder of the EPHS Chamber Winds program. Under Jackson’s direction, the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2010 & 2018 Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter Clinic and as a featured band at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in 2001, 2010, and 2014. Prior to her appointment at Eden Prairie, she taught music 5-12 in Wrenshall, Minnesota, band 9-12 at Spring Lake Park High School, and band 5-8 in the Hopkins School District. Beginning in 2004, she spent a three-year sabbatical as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Minnesota before returning to Eden Prairie High School in the fall of 2007.
Dr. Jackson has served as an honor band conductor throughout the upper Midwest, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and Colorado. She has served on the Minnesota Music Educators Association Board of Directors, is the a past-president of the Minnesota Band Directors Association, and was named the MMEA Educator of the Year in 2010. She currently serves on the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Teachers Advisory Council and is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmaster Fraternity.